All relationships encounter conflict from time to time. But when one of the combatants is afflicted with Combat Trauma, it will probably happen more frequently than normal. For this reason you and your husband need to agree to certain “rules of engagement.” Usually, when a couple is in the heat of an argument, there is no interest in rules – it’s “every man (or woman) for himself!”
First, think about what’s going on during an argument, and how the basic mechanics of conflict communication can be improved.
Focus on: one issue at a time, the problem, behavior, specifics, expression of feelings, “I “statements, observation of facts and a mutual understanding.
Rather than: many issues, the person, character, generalities, judgment of character, “You” statements, judgment of motives and who’s winning or losing.
Though we often don’t realize it, most of our conflicts take place on two levels: the flashpoint issue (which the argument erroneously focuses on), and the real issue. If you and your husband seem to argue frequently over the same subjects, it might be helpful to try and assess what could be the underlying, real subject you are at odds about.
Pray for your husband»